Monday, October 20, 2014


  The last time I was in Guy Ritchie's Mayfair pub The Punchbowl was about a year ago when it was so crowded that getting to the bar for a drink was a major challenge. Outside, security guards patrolled the street to make sure the hordes of drinkers did not stray off the pavement.
  Ever since Guy Ritchie and Madonna bought it in February 2008 for 2.8 million pounds from Greg Foreman, the son of gangster Freddie Foreman, the 300-year-old pub has been a favourite of the rich and famous and, consequently, the star-spotters and paparazzi. Princes William and Harry were customers, as were David Beckham, Kevin Spacey, Leonardo DiCaprio and Justin Timberlake. Ritchie celebrated his 40th birthday there in September 2008. When Ritchie and Madonna divorced he kept the pub as part of the settlement.
  But now Ritchie has sold the pub to Cirrus Inns and how things have changed! No more celebrities, so no more crowds or security guards. While other pubs in the area are doing good business the Punchbowl, lacking customers, closes at 5pm on Sundays..  
  Friends say that although Ritchie enjoyed his role as a pub landlord he became fed up with what went with it----a few months after he bought it it was investigated for alleged trading breaches but was cleared of charging tourists more than regulars. 
 And in 2009 Westminster council received 37 complaints about noise from the pub.
  No danger of that happening now!

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